IRAQ. Baghdad governorate. Baghdad. Sadr City. June 5, 2004.

“A soldier with Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery, Army National Guard of Lawrenceville, N.J. cries as the 1st Cav extract the body of Army Spc. Ryan E. Doltz. Army Spc. Doltz was killed along with Sgt. Humberto Timoteo after an IED exploded under their vehicle during a patrol in Sadr City. This image was taken a few days after I escaped from being kidnapped in Fallujah. The kidnapping and the threat of being killed was an overwhelming experience that effected me both mentally and physically. Instead of packing it up and exiting this current theatre of war, I decided to double down and continue working. By doing so I was able to deal with the physiological impact of the kidnapping in a healthy and productive manner. The image still haunts me, and at times, members of Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery, Army National Guard, have reached out to thank me for my work. It brings closure to this horrific tragedy where American heroes gave the ultimate sacrifice to their country.”

Photograph: Robert King

Melissa Stockwell: Was the first female American soldier in history to lose a limb in active combat and was the first Iraq War veteran to compete in the Paralympic Games as a swimmer in 2008 • Was one of four athletes featured in a documentary called “Warrior Champions” • Completed her residency in prosthetics where she fit other amputees with prosthetic devices


This document from 1778 is our oldest-known record relating to LGBTQ issues. Lieutenant James Michael wrote an account of a fellow officer’s court martial and sentence.

This week we’ll be sharing stories of ‪#‎LGBTQ‬ history in our holdings. On Saturday, join us online for our second National Conversation, held in Chicago, on LGBTQ human and civil rights:

On March 10, 1778, Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin became the first U.S. soldier court-martialed for “attempting to commit sodomy” with another soldier.

His sentence was to be literally drummed out of the Continental Army by its regiments’ fifes and drums. Enslin was told “never to return.”

Lieutenant James Michael of Pennsylvania recorded this description of Enslin’s punishment:

“I this morning proceeded to the grand parade, where I was a spectator to the drumming out of Lieut. Enslin of Col. Malcom’s regiment. He was first drum’d from right to left of the parade, thence to the left wing of the army; from that to the centre, and lastly transported over the Schuylkill with orders never to be seen in Camp in the future. This shocking scene was performed by all the drums and fifes in the army—the coat of the delinquent was turned wrong side out” (Read the full transcription here:…/Washington/03-14-02-0138)

Over 230 years after Enslin’s court martial, gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals are now allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces.

Image: Account of Lt. Enslin’s court martial and sentence; War Dept. Revolutionary War Records, National Archives. Text and images via